All these cats fresh to the comics page see its complexities, its intricacies, and sit there, amazed at this “graphic novel”. Probably long (to prove its ambition) and probably ornately captioned with text (images are just there to show, while words are there to see with), this serious work that probed human’s existence in an intentional swathe of meditative profundity must surely not be called a comic.

And so the term began to stick, and continues to reflect this mode of expression off of mirrors of “graphic” things (which normally warns readers of particularly violent or sexual imagery. “Beware graphic content”, televisions warn the facile authoritarian.), and “novelistic” things, which are serious and long.

And yet the smaller comics page exists. The eight page sic fi short exists. The cheap manga paperbacks, sometimes wordless in their vigilance to the truth, continue to persist. And the comic strip, although a fading footnote in online periodicals, continues to sprout up in the margins of newspapers, a reminder of the image’s ability to interrupt as well as ensconce.

So I propose new words whenever the situation requires articulation, for are not all of these different things not different methods of expression, produced for different forms?

And so I continued to annoy people who would describe a novel they read that was actually an expression of post-colonial control impulses.

Truth remained very slippery.

So in an effort to make myself much easier, let’s just settle somewhere in between things.

They use images as language, so there are image poems, image novels, image journalism, image technical manuals, image humor (or, heck, “graphic poems, graphic journalism, etc.” if you must). So, please give images the respect that you give images. Language is, after all, an image first and foremost.

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